Christopher Best

composer ~ educator ~ performer ~ writer


Playfall (1997)/ Moonlighting (1998)


LISTEN: 2nd movement (Catherine Laws: piano)

LISTEN: 6th movement (Julian Hellaby: piano)

"....a mature and powerful work, able to portray the dark shadows of loss that can unexpectedly creep into even the most joyful moments in life...."
(Dance Europe)

Fullscore: 29pp FREE Download

Whilst drawing upon passages from the slow movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, this work pays additional homage to Stravinsky (Petrouchka, The Rite of Spring and The Symphony of Psalms), Bartok (Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta), Schoenberg (Piano Suite opus 25), Steve Reich (Piano Phase) and more obliquely to others. Though the individual voices of these composers are echoed in the music, 'Moonlighting' remains essentially an expression of my own aesthetic.

The music was commissioned by Scottish Dance Theatre (with funds provided by the Arts Council of Scotland and The National Lottery) for the contemporary dance piece Playfall. Choreography was by Janet Smith (to whom credit is gladly given for the original idea of using Beethoven's music), the score was recorded for performance by Julian Hellaby and the first performance took place at Dundee Repertory Theatre on 25 February 1998, followed by an extensive UK tour.

In making Playfall into a concert piece, I have substantially rearranged the material and included passages that were not used for the dance.